Summary: This sermon explains how the disciples (and the church today) were able to do a seemingly impossible task: taking the Gospel to the world

* Assignment from Acts 1:8 is impossible in Acts 1 because the disciples have no spiritual power to help them

* Explain Holy Spirit’s role, pre-Acts 2 (came upon isolated individuals or small groups for a specific purpose or on a special occasion)

* Disciples know the facts about Jesus but lack the power to deliver the message

* The solution: Arrival of the Holy Spirit (promised in Luke 24:49, John 14:16, John 16:5-15)

* Contemporary feeling about the task the church has to change the world: "Impossible!"

* What makes this "impossible" task possible?

1. The filling of the Spirit makes the impossible possible (v. 1-4)

* Baptized in the Spirit vs. Filled with the Spirit

Baptized in = occurs when faith is placed in Christ; the initial work of the Spirit in a believer’s life; not a repeated act or conditional

Filled with = the believer continually takes advantage of the Spirit’s work in his or her life; a repeated act that is conditional (i.e., Eph. 5:18)

All believers are baptized in the Spirit, not not all live lives that are filled with the Spirit - FILLING LEADS TO LIVING

* When we are filled with the Spirit...

A. ...we understand the purpose of God (v. 3 = "tongues")

- purpose of tongues in this passage: proclamation of Gospel

B. ...we sense the presence of God (v. 3 = "fire")

- fire always symbolic of God’s presence (i.e., Moses; Elijah)

- Matt. 28:19-20

C. ...we experience the power of God (v. 4 = "enabled")

- a God-sized task requires God’s power

2. The activity of God makes the impossible possible (v. 5-11, 14-21)

* If God is taken out of the equation, we face an impossible task.

* God’s specific activity...

A. God does what only God can do (v. 5-11)

- if what is done can be done without God’s activity, it’s not of God

- Eph. 3:20

B. God fulfills his Word (v. 14-21)

- verses 17-21 compared to Joel 2:28-32

C. God draws people to himself (v. 21)

- Peter’s sermon is powerful because of what god does (v. 41)

- John 12:32

3. The reactions of others makes the impossible possible (v. 12-13)

Three different reactions in the text (all have a proper response from us)

A. Some will be ready to hear our message (v. 12 = "amazed")

OUR RESPONSE: Tell them! (1 Peter 3:15)

B. Some will be confused by our message (v. 12 = "perplexed")

OUR RESPONSE: Explain it to them! (Eph. 3:8-9)

C. Some will discourage us (v. 13)

OUR RESPONSE: Be faithful and continue! (Gal. 6:9)

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